Random Island & the Most Boring School Ever

Gander, Random Island, Brigus, St. John's, NL (Map)

Winter 2010.


Jerry: Hey Kramer, you want to go down to the Bronx and help me take flyers off George's car?
Cosmo Kramer: [without hesitating] Sure.
Jerry: Could've said just about anything, couldn't I?

I always laugh at that scene because of how much I see myself in Kramer.

Nicole: Hey [she doesn't call me Navi], you want to go over to St. John's for my work?
Navi: [without hesitating] Sure.
Nicole: Could've said just about anything, couldn't I?

She sure could have.

We spent the night in Gander at the Albatross Hotel. When I woke up around 7am, I decided to bundle up in my long johns & ice-fishing jacket for a wander around town to take some early morning pictures.

I had noticed some of Gander's steel-clad, symmetric buildings from my car before. It made for a worthwhile walk to discover a couple of new ones, like the above Gander Public Building & the Roman Catholic Church.

I read on the internet someone describing these types of buildings as ugly, but I find them unique & interesting; likely because I didn't grow up with steel siding as a popular building material.

We had all day to get to St. John's, so we detoured down a new secondary highway0.

I chose the NL-231, which goes across a causeway & onto Random Island. There are 11 communities on this island & the above picture is of Britannia, Newfoundland. The land across the bay and over to the left, is where I previously went and checked out that plane crash site.

0 - In Newfoundland, there is the primary highway, the Trans-Canada.
Then there is a network of secondary highways which branch off from the Trans-Canada.
It makes for a really simple layout, but it makes a vast highway system,
as you have to drive all the way down & back, for most highways
(not very many secondary highways loop back to the Trans Canada).

I had a specific curiosity in driving onto Random Island, as there is a lighthouse at the southeast corner (of the island).

Unfortunately a road doesn't go there & I always knew I'd have to hike 6km if I wanted to visit.

It was nice to finally visit Random Island's town of Hickman's Harbour to size up the surrounding foothills.

I learned that it is closer to use an old trail from nearby Lower Lance Cove, but the hills looked just as intimidating in that village.

Who knows, I'll probably just ask a fisherman for a lift, since I'm not sure if you can even make it across the cliffs near the end.

We also drove through Lady Cove, which led me to making plenty of jokes about "exploring Lady Coves."

Especially with how Puff Daddy says "swimming in women" on All About the Benjamins...

We finished up with Random Island & made it to St. John's after 200 additional kilometres of driving.

While in St. John's, I would visit the indoor skatepark & hit the cold tub afterward.

You see, I had been watching football pre-game shows earlier in the week, and 36-year-old Ray Lewis was talking about how he swore his longevity was on account of cold tubs.

Therefore, I got the ice bucket & filled it up with 8 trips worth of ice cubes. I figured I needed to bike twice this weekend because of the depressing winter in Corner Brook...and that there was no way I could be sore the next day.

So I put one foot into the water & it was damn cold. It became a bit precarious as I inched my left ankle, calf, knee & thigh into the frigid water...while my right leg remained outside of the tub. My right leg would be next though, as I immersed it in the water relatively easy after the initial shock of my left leg. Surprisingly, the remainder of my body wasn't that bad - I know there's a 'part' you would expect to 'shock' the most - but the initial shock on the legs was the worse.

The football players say they stay in the cold tubs for about 10 minutes. I was happy with my 3.

In the end, it didn't seem to do all that much the next day though.

Waking up on Saturday morning, Nicole gave me her keys while she attended to work.

I cruised up to Brigus, as I hadn't explored this area very much and there are enough old buildings to make this area worth a comprehensive exploration.

It was overcast & dreary in St. John's, but beautiful in Brigus.

If only every winter day could be like this. It would make the 5 months of never ending 29 degree snowfalls a little more tolerable.

While walking around in Brigus, I happened upon a strange bird which I hadn't seen before.

It turns out that this is a Bohemian Waxwing. It isn't the rarest Newfoundland bird to see, but my birdologist friend hasn't seen one (so it has to be somewhat rare).

Once I made it back to my car & drove around a bit, I also happened upon an abandoned school!

What a day!

After trudging through knee-deep snow, I was happy to break into a clear hallway & uninhibited walking.

It seems awfully empty though...

...and empty it sure was.

Away from the animated character paintings; classroom after classroom, and hallway after hallway, was empty, empty, empty.

I guess there was local stoner pot leafs & Metallica tags on the chalkboards as well.

I already showed the library in the picture with the round pile of snow, and I guess the above picture shows the chemistry room.

Although, with every chemistry apparatus removed, it was simply 12 sinks in a room surrounded by 2x4s.

I found myself in the gymnasium right after the chemistry room, but it wasn't enough to make up for the rest of the school - I was amazed in its emptiness.

I made my way down to the basement and found some interesting "Class of 94" graffiti. The staircase simply led down here, but it had to be harder before & I wondered how students made it down to the dirt-floored basement.

At this point, I realized that this was enough of this school.

I drove back to St. John's.

Nicole & I grabbed some dinner, slept & went back home.


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